California brick
CALIFORNIA BRICKS


Hindley Clay Products

History


Henry J. Hindley.
Henry J. Hindley. From the Eureka Humboldt Standard, 1963.


Henry Joseph Hindley was born in Humboldt County, California, in 1909. In 1929, he married Lorine Vivian Mulvany and they had one daughter. Lorine was born in Blue Lake, California, in 1913. In 1930, Henry was working as a shearer in a woolen mill. Later he moved to Eureka to work as a laborer. In 1946, he met James D. Thompson of the Thompson Brick Company in Eureka and learned the trade of brickmaking. Thompson sold the brickyard at 3121 Essex Street to Hindley that year.

Hindley formed Hindley Clay Products to manufacture common brick and drain tile, and to sell crude clay. Henry and Lorine ran the brickyard, which was the only brickyard in operation in Eureka at that time. They probably used the same equipment and kilns left at the yard by Thompson, as the equipment and kilns were described as being very old and obsolete. So apparently, the Hindleys did not upgrade the brickyard. They made red wire-cut building bricks in standard and split paver sizes. No brand markings are known to exist by this firm. The standard brick sold for $52.50 per 1,000, but they eventually had to drop the price to $45 per 1,000 in order to compete with bricks being shipped to Eureka from other brickyards. They also made 4-inch and 6-inch drain tiles. The 4-inch drain tile cost 15 cents per feet.

Advertisement for Hindley Clay Products.
Advertisement for Hindley Clay Products. From the Eureka Humboldt Standard, 1963.


Hindley's bricks were used mostly in homes built between 1946 and 1956 in the Eureka area. These bricks were used in facing the fronts of homes and stores, wall, and chimneys. Split pavers were used in walkways, patios, and walls.

When the earthquake of 1954 damaged many chimneys, there was an increased demand for common brick. The Hindleys fired the last kilns of brick to be fired in Humboldt County. They made over 120,000 brick, which were quickly sold. In 1955, they decided to close the yard and dismantle the plant. They sold the used bricks for 4 cents each. The brickyard property was subdivided and sold for residential units.

In 1963, Henry became the Humboldt County executive director of the Humboldt-Del Norte County Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service, which was formerly managed by his Uncle Henry C. Hindley. Henry and Lorine spent many years at their cabin in Petrolia. Henry died in 1990 at the age of 81 years and Lorine died in 2009 at the age of 96 years.

Hindley Brick

Hindley Common Brick

Common brick is mottled red with light to dark shades. The surface is smooth and the form is good. Edges are straight and sharp and commonly chipped. Corners are sharp. The short edges are rounded. The surface on the side may show crackles, minor cracks, minor pits, transverse grooves, stack indentations, patches of excess clay, and dark red flashing. Some display round dimpled conveyor belt imprints and some show a row of short grooves. The faces are wire-cut with a strong transverse velour texture. Rounded clasts of fine sandstone, siltstone, or shale, up to 1/2 inch in diameter, and pits are visible on the surface. The interior consists of 3 percent rounded shale, siltstone, or fine sandstone, up to 1/2 inch in diameter, in a porous, granular, orange-red to red sandy clay body. This brick was made using the stiff-mud process, extruded, and wire-cut on the faces. A range of sizes was noted. Length 7 3/4 - 8 3/8, width 3 7/8, height 2 3/8 - 2 1/2 inches.

View of the sides of Hindley common red brick.
View of the sides of Hindley common red brick.

View of the side of Hindley common red brick.
View of the side of Hindley common red brick.

View of the side of Hindley common red brick showing the dimpled conveyor belt imprint.
View of the side of Hindley common red brick showing the dimpled conveyor belt imprint.

View of the side of Hindley common dark red brick showing the dimpled conveyor belt imprint.
View of the side of Hindley common dark red brick showing the dimpled conveyor belt imprint.

View of the velour face of Hindley common red brick showing some rounded clasts on the surface.
View of the velour face of Hindley common red brick showing some rounded clasts on the surface.

View of the side of Hindley common dark red brick showing the dark red flashing.
View of the side of Hindley common dark red brick showing the dark red flashing.

View of the side of Hindley common red brick showing the conveyor belt imprints.
View of the side of Hindley common red brick showing the conveyor belt imprints.

Hindley Split Paver Brick

The split paver brick is similar in description to the standard common brick described above with all of the same features noted except for its smaller height. Length 8 1/8, width 3 7/8, height 1 3/8 inches.

View of the side of Hindley red split paver brick showing the conveyor belt imprints and dark red flashing.
View of the side of Hindley red split paver brick showing the conveyor belt imprints and dark red flashing.

References

ASC Manager Honored At Breakfast, Eureka Humboldt Standard, December 20, 1963.

Averill, C.V., King, C.R., Symons, H.H., and Davis, F.F., Directory of Producers For 1946, California Journal of Mines and Geology Bulletin 139, 1948, p. 133.

Bricks, Eureka Times-Standard, November 22, 1955.

Director Reports Extension, Eureka Times-Standard, October 13, 1971.

Eureka Heritage Society, Eureka, An Architectural View, Eureka, California, reprint, 1994.

Eureka Times-Standard, August 12, 1957.

Eureka Times-Standard, December 4, 1954.

Eureka Times-Standard, September 2, 1954.

Federal Census Records, 1930.

Lorine Vivian Hindley, Eureka Times-Standard, October 13, 2009.

Nash, Glen, Some staked their futures on brick plants, The Humboldt Historian, May-June 1985, p. 19-20.

Six Acres, Eureka Humboldt Standard, July 19, 1955.

Copyright 2014 Dan Mosier

Contact Dan Mosier at danmosier@earthlink.net.